Prosecution opposing Clare Bronfman’s bail modification; reveals more charges possible

Should Clare Bronfman be able to contact NXIVM members?

The prosecution has filed a written response to Clare Bronfman’s request for the relaxing of home detention and the right to meet with NXIVM members.

In the letter, prosecutors express concern that Clare might try to flee based on the fact that their ongoing investigation will likely result in a long prison term.  She is presently charged with crimes where the sentencing guidelines – according to her attorney – are three years.

Since Bronfman’s last appearance on July 27, she secured the required $50 million of the $100 million bond ordered by the Court.

For the prosecution, assistant U.S. Attorneys Moira Kim Penza and Tanya Hajjar wrote to Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis today to oppose Bronfman’s  motion to “substantially reduce the non-financial bail conditions set by the Court.”

The prosecution argues that “home detention should remain in place because the defendant poses an extraordinary risk of flight.” And her not associating with NXIVM members “is crucial to maintaining the integrity of the case.”

Bronfman objects to both of those conditions.

The prosecution argues that Bronfman “has extraordinary wealth and investments all over the world…. in the past year there have been substantial multi-million dollar transfers of funds from accounts…  including to accounts in other countries, and the government is not presently able to determine who controls that money. Moreover, the defendant has declined to provide information as to the amount of the funds in her trusts over time or whether there were significant transfers of money prior to the restructuring of those trusts that the defendant would have access to if she were to flee.

“… if she were to flee, the defendant would still have over $80 million in assets outside of any trust, including over $3 million in cash and an over $20 million interest in her private island in Fiji. Given her wealth, the defendant is in a position to reimburse her suretors [mother Georgianna Havers, and brother-in-law Basit Igtet] from any loss if she were to flee. Neither of her suretors has wealth even close to the full bond amount and it is uncertain whether the government would be able to fully pursue the suretors’ assets, nearly all of which are held overseas.”

{The prosecution notes that Clare’s sister, Sara Bronfman-Igtet, “declined to sign the bond,” and argues  “the government would be unable to pursue her substantial fortune except for the $8,000,000 in property that was posted as security for the defendant’s bond.”

The prosecution continues with a telling statement:  “The defendant’s resources make the risk of flight extraordinarily high in this case, especially when considered in conjunction with the strength of the government’s case and the lengthy sentence the defendant could receive if convicted. As the case progresses toward trial, and as the government’s investigation continues, the incentive to flee will only increase.”

[Clare may have committed more crimes than what she is presently charged with. The superseding indictment may have been merely a ‘placeholder’ to stop the clock while more crimes are investigated — which may ultimately lead to more charges.]

The prosecution continues, “[I]t is imperative that home detention remain in place, which is also consistent with the recommendation of Pretrial Services.”

[Pretrial Services are not under the DOJ – they are under the judiciary and are supervised by the judiciary. I doubt the judge will go against Pretrial Services’ recommendation.]

The prosecution has offered this compromise: “The government does not object to modifying the conditions of the defendant’s bond in order to permit her to leave her residence for attorney visits, court dates, religious services, 90 minutes—three days a week—for exercise and shopping for food and other necessities, with notice to Pretrial Services. However, the defendant’s proposal that she have unfettered access to Manhattan from which she could easily flee is not acceptable …  especially given that she is unemployed, making it even more difficult for Pretrial Services to effectively monitor her. Indeed, Pretrial Services has stated that the defendant’s proposal is not feasible.”

[Again that “Pretrial Services has stated that the defendant’s proposal is not feasible” is the likely death knell of her shedding home detention.]

As for Bronfman’s request to associate with NXIVM members who are not co-defendants, the prosecution proposes that ” the defendant may not directly or indirectly associate or have contact with, except in the presence of her attorneys, current or former employees or independent contractors of or for NXIVM (including any and all affiliated entities), current or former members of DOS, or with any individual who is currently or was formerly on the Stripe Path, subject to reasonable exceptions agreed-upon by the parties….  [This] condition … is necessary as to this defendant in order to protect the integrity of the trial process by keeping her from attempting to interfere with or intimidate potential witnesses….”

The prosecution continues: “[T]he government initially sought a condition prohibiting the defendant from communicating with current or former members of NXIVM, DOS and/or any affiliated entities. The defendant asked the court not to impose this condition based on her representation that ‘there are no “members” of Nxivm” and that it is “not a membership based organization.” The defendant’s argument is inconsistent with the position NXIVM has taken, which currently has a “Message to Our Members” posted on its website. See NXIVM website,….”

“The defendant is charged with being a long-standing member of a criminal enterprise that is deeply entwined with NXIVM’s leadership. The Stripe Path is comprised of individuals who have demonstrated a longstanding commitment to NXIVM’s leadership and are therefore likely to be witnesses or unindicated co-conspirators….  [B]ecause of her wealth, the defendant was a primary leader of the Enterprise’s use of ‘harassment, coercion and abusive litigation to intimidate and attack perceived enemies and critics of Raniere,’…  Given her history … the defendant should not be interacting with potential witnesses outside the presence of her attorney….

“[T]he non-association provision … is subject to reasonable exceptions. Indeed, in the time since the defendant was indicted, she has requested the government’s consent to her communication for business purposes with four people who otherwise would have been prohibited. Of those, the government has consented to the defendant continuing to communicate with three of the four.

“Moreover, there is no limitation on the defendant preparing her defense by meeting with any potential witnesses who wish to meet with her, as long as one of the defendant’s attorneys is present.

“The government does not consent to the defendant communicating with the bookkeeper (the “Bookkeeper”) referenced in the defendant’s letter. … [T]he Bookkeeper was employed by the defendant during the time period when the defendant is alleged to have arranged for Jane Doe #7’s credit card bill to be paid after her death, knowing co-defendant Keith Raniere was illegally continuing to use the card….  Moreover, the government proffers that the defendant is capable of managing her finances using another bookkeeper. Indeed, a second bookkeeper has been managing the defendant’s finances since the defendant was arrested. Alternatively, the government has no objection to the defendant continuing to use the Bookkeeper as long as the defendant does not have direct communication with the Bookkeeper outside of the presence of counsel.”

Read the complete letter:

Stay tuned for a report from the court shortly.

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Frank Parlato


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About the Author

Frank Parlato is an investigative journalist.

His work has been cited in hundreds of news outlets, like The New York Times, The Daily Mail, VICE News, CBS News, Fox News, New York Post, New York Daily News, Oxygen, Rolling Stone, People Magazine, The Sun, The Times of London, CBS Inside Edition, among many others in all five continents.

His work to expose and take down NXIVM is featured in books like “Captive” by Catherine Oxenberg, “Scarred” by Sarah Edmonson, “The Program” by Toni Natalie, and “NXIVM. La Secta Que Sedujo al Poder en México” by Juan Alberto Vasquez.

Parlato has been prominently featured on HBO’s docuseries “The Vow” and was the lead investigator and coordinating producer for Investigation Discovery’s “The Lost Women of NXIVM.” Parlato was also credited in the Starz docuseries "Seduced" for saving 'slave' women from being branded and escaping the sex-slave cult known as DOS.

Additionally, Parlato’s coverage of the group OneTaste, starting in 2018, helped spark an FBI investigation, which led to indictments of two of its leaders in 2023.

Parlato appeared on the Nancy Grace Show, Beyond the Headlines with Gretchen Carlson, Dr. Oz, American Greed, Dateline NBC, and NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, where Parlato conducted the first-ever interview with Keith Raniere after his arrest. This was ironic, as many credit Parlato as one of the primary architects of his arrest and the cratering of the cult he founded.

Parlato is a consulting producer and appears in TNT's The Heiress and the Sex Cult, which premiered on May 22, 2022. Most recently, he consulted and appeared on Tubi's "Branded and Brainwashed: Inside NXIVM," which aired January, 2023.

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